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New Jersey has voted to legalise the recreational use of marijuana.
The referendum came after years of failed legislative attempts to progress the availability of the drug across the state.
The Garden State’s Governor Phil Murphy tweeted, ‘Public Question #1 to legalise adult-use marijuana passed overwhelmingly tonight, a huge step forward for racial and social justice and our economy.’
AP projected the ‘yes’ result, which voted in favour of recreational marijuana use for people over the age of 21. However, this doesn’t mean marijuana will be available to smoke tomorrow – a bill still needs to be passed setting out the regulation of the drug.
New Jersey will become the twelfth state in the US to legalise the drug, putting pressure on neighbouring New York and Pennsylvania on what Murphy described as a ‘revenue-generator’.
Scott Rudder, president of the New Jersey CannaBusiness Association, told NJ.com, ‘Legalisation is the result of years of hard work from a diverse group of individuals and communities. Senator Nick Scutari’s idea that used to generate snickers in the halls of Trenton when he first talked about it has finally become a reality.’
Senator Cory Booker earlier said, ‘We can do this as a state so much more responsibly, and instead of destroying lives we can get more resources to help to empower the well-being of all New Jerseyans… we have seen how the drug war has not been a war on drugs, but a war on people.’
Following the vote, the ‘legislature must now take immediate action to draft and implement enabling legislation in a manner that is in accordance with voters’ sentiments’.
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